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How much does a home security system cost?

Expect to pay around $35 per month for professional monitoring

Profile picture of Kathryn Parkman
by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team
ADT, Vivint Smart Home, Vector Security and Frontpoint
woman checking home alarm

Investing in a home security system helps protect your home and family. Systems are available with a wide range of services for both homeowners and renters. Let’s take a look at what you can expect to pay for a home security system and the different factors that affect your total cost.

Average cost of a home security system

According to ConsumerAffairs Research Team’s recent cost analysis, on average, you can expect to pay around $35 per month for professional monitoring services, but this cost ranges from $15 to $70, depending on the alarm company.

Cheaper self-monitoring options are also available. If you plan on purchasing your equipment instead of renting it, you’ll pay more upfront. Equipment costs vary significantly, with basic packages starting around $200 and more advanced packages running over $1,000.

Equipment costs vary significantly, with basic packages starting around $200 and more advanced packages running over $1,000.”
Price rangeAverage cost
24/7 professional monitoring$15/month to $69.95/month$34.82/month
Self-monitoring with recorded video$3/month to $10/month$7.66/month
Upfront equipment cost$0 to $1,049+$455.74
Installation fee$0 to $450$99 to $199

Factors that affect the cost of a home security system

Home security monitoring fees range from $15 to $70 per month.

What you’ll pay for a new home security system depends on a few variables, such as equipment costs, services included and the company's pricing model.

Many professional home security providers roll equipment costs into the monthly monitoring fee. In this case, you'll be locked into a contract ranging from one to five years while you pay for the equipment. You may incur early termination fees if you cancel your monitoring services before your contract is up.

DIY home security models typically allow you to purchase equipment upfront and then either elect to add on professional monitoring services — typically at a lower monthly rate than non-DIY providers — or monitor the system yourself at no cost or a small fee (some systems include video recording and cloud storage). DIY plans typically come with less strict contract requirements or even no-contract options.

Costs to consider

There are a few upfront and ongoing costs you can expect when purchasing a home security system. Don’t forget to factor in the annual cost of system maintenance and upkeep, such as replacing batteries or ordering new equipment like additional cameras or key fobs.

  • Professional monitoring: Professional monitoring includes 24/7 access to a live call center that monitors your system. If an alarm is triggered, someone in the monitoring system will call to check on you and can request emergency services on your behalf. A monitored system typically runs between $15 to $70 per month, or around $35 on average.
  • Security equipment: Depending on the provider, you may have the option to purchase the equipment upfront, finance it with a monthly payment or rent it. If you pay upfront, you’ll likely save money in the long run.

    Rolling equipment costs into a monthly payment remains a popular option because it makes home security systems more affordable for most people. If you choose to finance your equipment with your professional monitoring cost, expect to pay a little more for each month’s service.

  • Installation: Some companies charge a one-time installation fee to set up your system. Professional installation fees range from $0 to $450, with most between $99 and $199. You can cut this cost altogether if you choose a DIY wireless system instead.
  • Alarm permits: Depending on your location and the type of device, you may need to apply for an alarm permit with your local government. Paying annually for an alarm permit ensures emergency services show up at your property when necessary. It can also help protect you against fines for false alarms.

Security equipment cost

When buying home security equipment, you’ll have the option to select from prearranged packages filled with the company’s most popular devices or build a customized system for your needs and budget.

The cost of the preselected packages we researched across 12 popular home security providers ranged from $179 to $1,049, with most coming in between $200 and $600. Starter packages typically include intrusion detection devices (door and window sensors, motion detectors, etc.) and a central control panel or keypad. More advanced security systems add in equipment like indoor and outdoor cameras, video doorbells, environmental sensors, smart lights, smart locks and other home automation features.

Compare popular security packages

brinks home security logosimplisafe logocove logo
Package nameSmart Security EssentialThe EssentialsCustom system
Control panel
Motion detector
Entry sensors233
Cameras1 (HD)1 (indoor)
Yard sign1
List price$199$259$423
Promotional cost offeredNone$207$145.80
brinks home security logoSmart Security Essential21$199None
simplisafe logoThe Essentials31 (HD)$259$207
cove logoCustom system31 (indoor)$423None

*At the time of publishing

You’re likely to find a pre-built home security package that will work for you. One good thing about customizing your system, however, is you can start small and add on later as you see fit or your budget or needs increase.

Individual security equipment costs

Price rangeAverage cost
Indoor cameras$59.99 to $199.99 each$119.71 each
Outdoor cameras$99 to $240 each$189.71 each
Video doorbells$59.99 to $349.99 each$183.79 each
Motion detectors$24.99 to $80 each$39.16 each
Door and window sensors$14.99 to $40 each$20.82 each

Smart home cost

Syncing your security system with smart-home automation is becoming more and more popular. In addition to lights and locks, you can add smart garage door controls and smart thermostats to a home security system and integrate them with voice-activated devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa for a fully connected experience.

Many major home security companies offer their own smart-home equipment. Others make their systems compatible with external home automation devices and Z-Wave technology, so all your devices can communicate with each other.

Price rangeAverage cost
Smart locks$99.99 to $329.99 per lock$207.24 per lock
Smart lights$19.99 to $40 per bulb$26.66 per bulb
Smart thermostat$150.84 to $249 per device$199.92

Home security system cost comparison

To compare systems, consider both upfront equipment costs and ongoing monthly fees. Often, a home security company will sell you equipment at low or no upfront cost, and then you pay it off over the length of your contract. In this case, the monthly fee combines costs for monitoring service and equipment financing. If you don’t want to get into a contract, you’re better off buying a home security system outright.

Below, we compare three popular home security companies on upfront costs, monthly monitoring fees, financing options, cancellation fees, contract terms and money-back guarantees.

Click “Read reviews” to find more company details and to read verified customer reviews and complaints. Learning from existing customers is one of the best ways to find a reliable system from a trustworthy company.

adt logosimplisafe logovivint logo
Monthly monitoring fee$28.99 to $57.99$15 to $25$19.99 to $29.99+
Upfront equipment cost$599 to $1,049; financing available$129 to $489Provides custom quotes; requires $599.99 to qualify for best monitoring rate
Installation cost$99 to $199$0; DIY installation$49 to $199
Contract terms36 to 60 monthsNo contract requiredMonth-to-month available; 60 months if financing
Cancellation fee75% of remaining contractNone100% of remaining contract
Trial period or guarantee6-month money-back guarantee60-days; 100% satisfaction or return for full refundNot listed
Customer satisfactionRead ADT reviewsRead SimpliSafe reviewsRead Vivint reviews
adt logo$28.99 to $57.99$599 to $1,049; financing available$99 to $19936 to 60 months75% of remaining contract6-month money-back guaranteeRead ADT reviews
simplisafe logo$15 to $25$129 to $489$0; DIY installationNo contract requiredNone60-days; 100% satisfaction or return for full refundRead SimpliSafe reviews
vivint logo$19.99 to $29.99+Provides custom quotes; requires $599.99 to qualify for best monitoring rate$49 to $199Month-to-month available; 60 months if financing100% of remaining contractNot listedRead Vivint reviews

All information is accurate as of publishing date.

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    Home security cost FAQ

    How much does an alarm system save on homeowners insurance?
    A home security system can reduce your insurance premium by 2% to 20%. The amount you can save depends on your home insurance provider and the type of alarm system you have. Systems that include monitoring services with smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors will offer the most significant savings.
    Do home security companies offer warranties or repair support plans?
    Yes, most top home security companies offer warranties and repair coverage. In many cases, this applies only to systems professionally installed by the provider. There are exclusions to these warranties, with plans not covering battery replacement or damage to touch screens.
    Do home security companies charge early termination fees?
    If you cancel before the term of your home security agreement is up, you will likely pay an early termination fee ranging from 75% to 100% of the remaining contract. If you only need home security for a short time, consider providers that offer month-to-month services — just keep in mind that you might have to spend more on upfront equipment costs.
    Where can I find a cheap home security system?
    You can find the cheapest home security systems online. They typically have low or no upfront costs and DIY monitoring. Some plans let you self-monitor for free, while others charge a small monthly fee — usually between $10 and $20.

    Are home security systems worth it?

    The average break-in costs a homeowner $2,661.

    According to the FBI, the average break-in in 2019 costs a homeowner $2,661. Home security systems can deter burglars, call emergency services with the press of a button and allow you to monitor your property while you're away.

    While some advanced systems can be pricey if you want to purchase all of your equipment upfront, most are relatively affordable with financing plans. With the average professional monitoring plan running just under $35 per month, you’re looking at around $400 each year to protect against a potentially much more expensive loss.

    If you’re on the fence about whether one of these systems is right for your home, consider if the upfront and monthly costs of a system fit into your budget, and evaluate the crime rate and trends in your area. Even in areas where crime is low, the presence of a security system provides a real sense of comfort to homeowners.

    Next, read about finding the best home security camera, or take our quick quiz to get matched with a new home security system.

    How did we find these prices?
    To find price ranges and average home alarm system costs, we researched pricing from 12 popular home security companies. Not all companies had pricing for every component we list on this page. We put together ranges and averages based on information from companies that provided clear and transparent pricing.

    The companies we pulled pricing from include:

    • ADT
    • Alert 360
    • Blue by ADT
    • Brinks Home Security
    • Cove
    • Frontpoint
    • Guardian Protection
    • Ring
    • SimpliSafe
    • Vector Security
    • Vivint Smart Home
    • Xfinity Home

    Monitoring: Price range and averages include costs from 12 companies. Professional monitoring prices were available from 10 companies, while two offered lower-cost self-monitoring options.

    Upfront equipment costs: Price range and averages include costs from nine companies.

    Installation: Price range and averages include costs from five companies. The other companies researched either offered no-cost professional installation or operated on a DIY installation model.

    Indoor camera: Price range and averages include the prices of seven cameras from six companies.

    Outdoor camera: Price range and averages include the prices of seven cameras from six companies.

    Video doorbell: Price range and averages include the prices of 10 devices from four companies.

    Motion sensor: Price range and averages include the prices of six devices from six companies.

    Entry sensor: Price range and averages include the prices of six devices (door and window sensors) from six companies.

    Smart lock: Price range and averages include the prices of four devices from three companies.

    Smart light: Price range and averages include the prices of three bulbs from two companies.

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    Profile picture of Kathryn Parkman
    by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team

    As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Kathryn Parkman believes everyone deserves easy access to accurate and comprehensive information on products and businesses before they make a purchase, which is why she spends hours researching companies and industries for ConsumerAffairs. She believes conscious consumption is everyone's responsibility and that all content deserves integrity.